Electronic Benefit Transfer cards are debit cards that contain state funds for supplemental nutrition assistance and family cash benefits for families that qualify. Any funds that you qualify for based on your income and family size are deposited onto the card once a month and available for immediate use. EBT cards can be treated similar to a traditional credit or debit card with slight variations in the menu selections after swiping them.
Select your groceries within the guidelines for your EBT program. EBT programs commonly allow fresh produce, meats and uncooked packaged foods. Most programs also allow the purchase of baby formula, infant foods and plants that produce foods, such as herbs and fruit trees.
Provide your purchases to the cashier as you normally would. Wait for the cashier to provide a total cost.
Slide your EBT card through the card-processing machine. Select "EBT" when the machine requests the payment type. Press "Food" to pay with food-only benefits or "Cash" to pay with EBT cash benefits, if you have them.
Input your card PIN when prompted by the card machine. Press "OK." Verify the purchase total and click "OK." Provide an alternative payment for any products that your EBT funds did not cover.
Tips & Warnings
- Most food-only EBT programs prohibit pet foods, paper goods and pre-cooked, ready-to-eat foods. Cash programs have different guidelines, allowing you to purchase some paper products and other household goods. Check the guidelines for your state if you are unsure of your available benefits.
How to Use EBT Food Stamps on Vacation
Provides information on how to use food stamp benefits while traveling and offers tips to stretch the food stamp dollar.
- How to Check the Balance on Your EBT Card
How to Use Food Stamp EBT Card
People who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as the Food Stamp Program until Oct. 1, 2008, use an...
How to Use the Tennessee EBT Card
The Tennessee EBT card is an Electronic Benefits Transfer card program that started in 1998. The EBT card system is used to...